Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sophie's Film Choice #10: BLUE JASMINE

The days are getting cold and and wet, the city is covered in a sheen of rain, the nights are drawing in... it's only right that we should all go and see a Woody Allen film! I took my own recommendation on Friday night, and scooted on down to Hatfield to see one of my favourite director's latest efforts.

'Blue Jasmine' is a life-assuring piece about love and happiness, and will leave you with a warm glow inside, to fend off the winter chill. LOL JK! In fact, this film is perhaps the most heart-wrenchingly intense and tragic films Allen has written... probably since 'Husbands and Wives' (which is just an unflinching chronicle of stale marriages and break-ups - cheery)!

'Say enchilada!! :D'  '...No.'
Not surprisingly, given good old Woody's history, 'Blue Jasmine' explores some of his common themes: adultery, sex, deceit, death and snobbery (in no particular order. But all are frequent. Painfully frequent).

'If you ask me to speak elvish ONE MORE TIME.'
Following Jasmine, in a series of flash backs, and in her new life in San Francisco, we witness the brisk and catastrophic demise of a once glamorous and serene woman, into a quivering (and at times terrifying) train-wreck. Cate Blanchett is nothing less than astounding in the role, oscillating between a hyper and overly loquacious socialite, to a calmly arrogant millionaire, to a... chattering nutcase within seconds, her self-denial and psychosis kept worryingly relatable. Honestly, she is a chameleon of misery!

Desperately seeking refuge with her stepsister, Ginger (played by Sally Hawkins), Jasmine doesn't even try to conceal her disgust at the cheap Californian suburban life she must withstand. In Allen's signature style, the gaudy flat in San Francisco is set up as a direct contrast to Jasmine's spacious and minimalist New York home (the split-screen shot at the dinner table in 'Annie Hall' springs to mind), and Blanchett's willowy and pale physique makes her seem an unwanted giant in the claustrophobic, latino apartment.

'I can't believe you told me this was a 6Os themed party...'
Hawkins perpetuates a brash and bubbly naivety as Ginger, the fun-loving, honest and accepting antithesis to Jasmine, and whilst she goes for some pretty minging men (having sex with a fat old bloke in the back seat of his car... classy), we can't help but will her on to a happy ending. As is often the case in Allen's work, the eye is firmly on the female in this film, whilst the men (including the sleazy and unfeeling 'Hal', played by Alec Baldwin) are merely vehicles for their happiness and distress.

'Blue Jasmine' is, in my opinion, the best film Allen has made since 'Husbands and Wives'. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery, warmth and quirkiness of 'Midnight in Paris', it lacked the emotional substance which this film has in spades. I would defy anyone who doesn't have a lump in their throat in the final scene. One thing is for sure, Woody Allen can recreate break-ups and break-downs like no-one else can.


  1. I was loving this right up till you said Midnight in Paris has no heart! IT HAS Marion Cottillard. MARION COTTILLARD! SHE'S HEARTY ENOUGH FOR ANY FILM!

    But seriously, yes. Must go see this now.

    1. Never said it had no heart! It's very warm and romantic and Parisienne - I wouldn't deny you your Marion Cottilard ;) This is much more intense though, you should definitely see it!